Hartlepool parents 'less likely' to win school admission appeals
Parents in Hartlepool are less likely to win an appeal over their child's selected school than in those in other parts of the country, new figures reveal.
Department for Education data for last year shows not a single parent in Hartlepool won an appeal over their child's selected school last year.
The figures also reveal a wide variation in school admission appeal success rates between local authorities.
In Hartlepool, parents took 34 cases against their child’s school placement for the 2020-21 academic year to an appeal hearing – with none being successful.
That was the first time no appeals had been won since records began in 2015-16.
Nationally, the appeal success rate was 19%.
In Hartlepool, 93% of applicants were offered a first-choice school place last year and the number of appeals equated to 1.4%% of all admissions - up from one per cent the previous year.
Nationally, the number of appeals heard fell sharply last year, from 48,100 in 2019-20 to 41,100 in 2020-21.
A Local Government Association spokesperson said: "Every child should have a fair chance of getting into their parents’ preferred school and councils and schools work extremely hard to try and ensure that as many pupils as possible are allocated their first preference.”
A Department for Education spokesperson said: "School admissions appeal panels are independent bodies and make decisions on an individual basis.
“The number of appeals heard in each area varies widely, so the number of successful appeals cannot be meaningfully compared as the volume can impact the success rate of appeals.”